Sheriff's Message History

Community Spirit

September 08, 2004

Hurricane Charley delivered a one, two punch on Charlotte County a few weeks ago and crumbled buildings homes and businesses all across the county. It is the worst natural disaster to hit this area in 40 years. The physical destruction is difficult to look at and the loss of some wonderful residents is painful and sad. But the spirit of this community is nothing short of amazing.

Neighbors helping neighbors, churches and schools opening their doors and their kitchens, donations of every kind flooding to those who need it, and emergency workers working around the clock to see to the unmet needs of people hit hardest by the storm was evident everywhere. It was a magnificent thing to watch. Even the awesome power of this terrible storm couldn't shake the spirit of this great community.

As soon as the storm passed, law enforcement, fire and EMS teams from around the state started arriving in Charlotte County. We had over four hundred police officers here helping the local officers keep the peace and provide for the safety of the community as best they could. Those visiting officers were so taken back by the warmth and generosity of the Charlotte residents that they told me how very lucky I was to be the Sheriff of such a great community, a feeling I strongly concur with.

Charlotte County residents adopted those visiting officers as their own. Many residents opened their homes to officers they didn't even know. Officers could barely keep traffic moving at intersections due to our citizens stopping to give them water, Gatorade, sandwiches or just a heartfelt thanks. I even saw a woman in Englewood open her swimming pool to 10 officers from Palm Beach County after they spent a long day directing traffic. It was great to see our community, after everything that they had been through, taking the time to thank those who came here to help us.

On behalf of the law enforcement officers of the state, I thank all of the citizens of Charlotte County for everything they did for the police officers and emergency workers that have affectionately been nick-named by some of our residents, “Charley's Angels”.

I also want to thank the men and women of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office for their unwavering service to the community during this tragedy. The over five hundred employees of the Sheriff's Office gave everything of themselves, leaving their families to tend to their own homes so that they could stay in the community to help the residents recover from the storm. They all performed their duty so honorably and I have never been more proud of any group I have ever served with. They are truly Charlotte County's finest!

Charlotte County as a community will never be quite the same as it was before Hurricane Charley. That is because it will be an even stronger community, a closer community, and a more united community than ever before. I know this for certain, as the residents of Charlotte County wouldn't have it any other way!

Sheriff William Cameron

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